Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Basket Case

 

Once upon a time in what's seems like another lifetime I had a sewing basket on my coffee table. 



I used to sit and paper piece hexies. I never did anything with them but I liked making them. This was about the time Daddio caught the hexie fever and my projects were put aside to work with him in order to keep him out of mischief after Mom died. 



I was watching The Last Homely House podcast the other night and she was showing off her beautiful hexie quilt. She doesn't make flowers, she just joins them in rows and it's really lovely to see. I was so inspired I dusted off my basket and sat down and made a row. Maybe I'll make another row and join them. Maybe not. These days I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof and can't seem to settle down with anything for very long. 




I also don't have a very good track record with finishing my paper pieced projects. Remember this? My poor Dear Jane hasn't seen the light of day since the pandemic started. I am just too jangled up to fiddle with those tiny pieces. I started it mainly to learn new things with paper piecing and I sure did. I learned that using a glue stick is better than a pin to hold your pieces down-and that's about it. 



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A Little White Stuff

 

We finally got a coating of white but it's not snow it's....graupel. That's a new to me word that I learned last year for what this stuff is that we've been getting instead of snow lately.



You can't sleigh ride on it or make a snowball but from a distance it does look like snow. 



It makes me want a shaved ice or as we call them snow cones. Root beer. I always get one at the MDSW along with some fair fries. Don't they look good? 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 

This is it for this week. I got the feet and little grass done under another sheep. 



My other projects are right where they were last week-piled on the ironing board.




Between my mouth issues, making soap and filling a dumpster, my week was pretty much shot. Look at all that junk. It sure didn't take long to fill that dumpster up. We could have used two.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Whoopsie....

 

I  made soap all last week. One loaf a day. The drying racks are getting filled up again.





I ended the week with some unscented goat's milk soap and it was not without drama.



My molds are in two pieces. You have a wooden outer part and an inner silicone liner so the batter doesn't run out and you can get the soap out once it's hardened. Without realizing, I poured the batter in the wooden part and forgot to put in the liner. Argh....what a mess.  I had to scrape it all out and put it in another mold. It's a good thing I have two of those molds and I wasn't planning any fancy color work.




But there's more....immediately following that drama I noticed that the last two loaves I made were full of  brown spots. What on earth...




Every single batch of the spotty ones was made with the exact same measurements, the exact same ingredients and tried and true fragrance oils as the non spotty ones except......




....the coconut milk. Coconut milk helps boost lather so it's a regular addition but I ran out after three loaves and ordered some food grade coconut milk from Amazon. I checked the ingredients and they were the same as the soap grade coconut milk (which is coconut milk and maltodextrin) but the percentages must be different. All those spots say too much sugar to me. Lye caramelizes the sugar making the dark spots. The same thing happens to goat's milk if you let it heat up and I let the spotty batches heat up because....who knew?




Oh, well.....it should be fine to use. Just weird looking and I've made plenty of weird looking soap. It all seems to work.












Sunday, January 24, 2021

Going Viral

 

I had planned on spending the weekend putting the backing on the snowflake quilt. I think I like the pale blue batik for the back and the bright blue should work for a teeny tiny binding but instead.......



....I spent the morning digging through the stash. 




I dug through the Lett Lopi bin. No luck.



I dug through the regular Lopi bin. No luck. I keep a sample mitten in the bin so I remember how to make them. I've made a lot of Lopi mittens. I love them.



I dug through my giant stash of Elann worsted....




...and I found what I needed. Kind of. It's not exactly right but it's close.




You might have guessed what I was going to do with all that brown yarn. Make Bernie Mittens of course. This is one of the many free patterns trending on Ravelry. You just know I had to have a pair. 




I didn't get very far after that because I ended up in Urgent Care yesterday afternoon looking pretty much like I do when I am geared up for making soap. It's the first time I have been out since February and of course I had to go to where all the sick people are. I was scared to death. My blood pressure and heart rate were through the roof. I have had a very sore, itchy mouth and throat that has been making me crazy for days and I couldn't stand it another minute. I've tried every over the counter remedy I know with no relief. After a lot of swabs, it turns out I most likely have a simple case of thrush-which I learned is just another pleasure of growing old. Golly. 



This getting old thing really is not much fun. No wonder Bernie looks so grumpy. This is just how I feel. But I do love those mittens. I've got more brown yarn on the way but sadly no Lopi. They are having supply issues due to the virus I will not name. 






Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Year in Puzzles

 

I don't have room upstairs for a full sized puzzle while I am making soap but I really missed working on one after dinner. I still have a few of those teeny tiny ones so I cleared off a little spot on the kitchen table and got started again. 


Before I did that I took inventory of all the ones I have already done. Since the pandemic started I've done 13 of the little things. 



I did spring puzzles when the pandemic was a novelty. Everyone was safe at home baking bread and nesting.




I did summer puzzles when it looked like things were getting better and we had hope we could beat this thing.




I did fall puzzles when all of a sudden things started looking bleak again.  Friends and family started dying. By the time I pulled out the Christmas puzzles we had a full blown catastrophe on our hands-again.




I am going to pack all those puzzles up along with my Covid numbers notebook as souvenirs of the year that wasn't. Sometimes I can't believe this is all really happening. I can't wait until it's a bad memory. We pre-registed for our shots through the health department on Tuesday but they say it could be months before we get them due to the short supply.




As for that puzzle....I am a sorter. I sort everything out by color or pattern before I get started. 





The Mister likes to lay them all out and look for shapes. I think that's grounds for divorce. Maybe not but it's why he has his puzzle downstairs and I have mine upstairs. 




Friday, January 22, 2021

Woolly Milestones

 

See those big  blue clips on either side of the Festive Doodle? They are holding the sleeve stitches. That means I made it back to where I was when my sizing disaster struck. Now I've got less stitches on the needles and that makes me very happy.



I've got one Cozy Thermal Mitt done and the second started. 



I've made one full round of the rainbow on the Twofers.



My Arne and Carlos Pairfects are at the heel and I'm not hating them as much as I did. No one will ever know but me that they don't look anything like the ball band photo.





Then there is Altheda.....sigh. I'm afraid I've fallen into the black hole of knitting here. I keep knitting the same final inch over and over only to measure it and find that I am right back where I started. I need 12 inches to the hem and by golly I'll get them even if it takes me forever.